Johannesburg - One perspective on the cruelty of humanity is that the greatest joy of your life is a mere fleeting moment of impetuous passion for someone else.
We were too young when our parents conspired upon the theory of children being stolen in the township when we were growing up.
We wondered who were “they” and why would “they” steal children.
But no child that we knew personally had ever disappeared. As far as our childish minds were concerned, it was all a conspiracy theory, theorised by stuck-up parents to stop us from having fun with our friends, other idle boys and girls.
Until we hear of a harrowing tale of the discovery of the mutilated bodies of two young boys from Soweto. And the details of the incident evoke a sense of horror and grief.
The boys were reported missing, and a frantic search was launched to find them.
As time passed, hope began to fade, and the community’s despair grew.
The discovery of the boys’ bodies in a field was a shocking and devastating blow to their families and the community.
If it still takes a community to raise a child, does that same community not have an equal opportunity to erase a child?
The boys had been brutally murdered, their bodies mutilated in a manner that defies comprehension. The details of the crime are a testament to the depravity of the human soul.
The tragedy has left the community reeling and demanding justice for the heinous crime.
What could kidnappers benefit from children, our childish minds pondered?
We did not know of paedophiles, we just called them uncle, or auntie.
We did not know of human trafficking, that children are vulnerable to being trafficked for forced labour, sexual or other forms of exploitation.
Which craft is this abomination that children are abducted for use in traditional rituals or witchcraft?
We had no idea that markets also had colours and that in some cases, children are abducted for their organs, which can be harvested and sold on the black market.
It is the innocence of childhood that shields us from the harsh realities of the world. As children, we are often oblivious to the dangers that lurk around us. The idea that someone we know could disappear without a trace seemed like a far-fetched notion, something that only happens in movies or books.
But as we grow older, we begin to realise that the world is not always a safe place. The dangers that we once dismissed as childish fantasies and conspiracy theories become all too real, and we are forced to confront the harsh realities of life.
Little did we know that we are wells, little human bodies of water from which adrenochrome is derived, that the fountain of youth flows in our blood, the more terrified we are, the more potent the serum.
In the end, the innocence of childhood is a fleeting thing, but it is a precious gift that we must cherish while we can.